Last week the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it has intervened in a whistleblower lawsuit brought against an ink manufacturer for skirting the payment of import duties. The case against Toyo Ink is still in its early stages, but government intervention is a significant victory for the whistleblower, John Dickson.
When employees are harassed or fired for reporting misconduct, fighting and paying for a whistleblower lawsuit can look seem like an insurmountable challenge. When you imagine this battle of David versus Goliath, you can start to grasp how big this news is for Mr. Dickson's case.
Government funds are, of course, limited. The benefits of False Claims Act investigations like this one, however, are well worth the cost. If the Department of Justice can demonstrate that Toyo Ink did, in fact, cheat its way out of paying import duties on its ink, the company will be forced to pay back the costs threefold. That money pays for the investigation, and it serves as a powerful deterrent to other would-be fraudsters.
Cases like these are great examples of how whistleblowing works. Mr. Dickson's courage to step forward has been recognized with this government assistance. Hats off to the Department of Justice for stepping up to bat for this whistleblower–another American hero.